Gadkari approves Rs. 68,000-crore road projects for northeast states
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, in a bid to make intentional standard surface connectivity roads in northeast states, approved several road projects worth Rs. 68,000 crore. Among the approved amount, Rs. 50,000 crore will to be invested in Assam while Meghalaya to net Rs. 9,000 crore. Nagaland and Sikkim will receive Rs. 5,000 crore and Rs. 4,000 crore, respectively.
By 2024, the entire road infrastructure will change: Gadkari
Gadkari made the announcement during a late-night press conference following the review of various national highway projects in the northeast. "Our aim is to change the entire scenario of road transport in the northeast by 2024. We target to make roads of international standards in this region," he said, as he is on a three-day visit to the region that started on Wednesday.
38-kilometer-long corridor in Kaziranga National Park
Assam got the major share of investment as projects in the state include an elevated 38-kilometer-long corridor worth Rs. 6,000 crore in Kaziranga National Park. The minister said that Rs. 4,500 crore will be used to develop a ring road in Guwahati. "Rs. 2,100 crore worth five ropeways will be developed besides flyovers and bridges over the Brahmaputra river," he said.
'Will develop 700 kilometers of road network'
Gadkari said that the government will complete road projects in Assam worth Rs. 2 lakh crore that includes a 700-km road network by 2024, the year county will go for the next Lok Sabha elections. "20 projects worth Rs. 14,000 crore are at the bidding stage and Rs. 25,000 crore worth of projects are at the DPR (Detailed Project Report) stage," he added.
Here is what the union minister said
'Pace up work on pending projects'
Besides approving several projects in four states, including Nagaland, Meghalaya and Sikkim, Gadkari also asked the authorities to immediately complete the ongoing development works. At the request of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, he approved a road project that will connect Numaligarh with Gohpur.
'Push electric vehicles, promote bamboo production'
The minister also asked Assam CM Sarma to promote the use of electric vehicles, mainly buses, given the growing challenges of pollution. Assam, having over three dozen naturally growing bamboo species, the minister focused on the production of ethanol as "since blending fuel with it, our import bill (of crude) was down by Rs. 40,000 crore," he said.